Washington Sets its Sights on Ocean Shipping

A silver lining in the global economy’s post-pandemic supply-chain challenges has been policymakers’ heightened attention to long-term issues hampering our domestic freight transportation networks. While shuttered Asian factories, chip shortages and other emerging chokepoints are newer problems particular to COVID-19 shutdowns, they’ve shed light on broader, systemic issues that have long impacted American trucking companies and their ability to keep the supply chain turning.

Many of those issues emanate from our maritime ports, where abusive business practices by a cartel of foreign-owned ocean shipping companies have fleeced American trucking companies and U.S. consumers to the tune of billions of dollars. Fortunately, both Congress and the Biden Administration are aligned on the goal of increasing marketplace fairness in our ports and eliminating anti-competitive behavior that’s enabled ocean carriers to reap record profits at the expense of truckers and consumers.

During his State of the Union Address, President Biden remarked on the need for reforms in the ocean shipping industry, which has seen extraordinary consolidation in recent years. This global industry is dominated by only about ten foreign companies who have formed three dominant alliances to shrink competition even further. According to the New York Times, the price to transport a container from China to the West Coast of the United States costs 12 times as much as it did two years ago, while the time it takes a container to make that journey has nearly doubled. This gouging helped ocean carriers reap a record $150 billion in profits last year.
details at: https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/washington-sets-its-sights-ocean-shipping

Back To Top
×Close search